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"Ooooo La la" Madamoiselle Hovenden!
Jo Hovenden shares her friendly (talk to me) face across the water in her first French Triathlon. Impressing spectators with her elegance during her bike dismount whilst claiming 4th Lady!
So a few days into my Les Stables Tri training holiday, southern France, Mike who lives out their said, Jo do you fancy a triathlon next Sunday?... "just a little sprint, beautiful lake will be fun" he said. A bargain of 23euros later I'm entered! I know nothing about the course, distance, laps, undulation.... ekk.
The day before the race and during a 65mile "beasting" of a bike training ride I manage to find out a few more race details. (750m lake swim (1 lap) 25k bike (2 lap) and 6k run. 5.30am pick up.
Race day came... up early as all would expect!
There was a fantastic atmosphere at the race, but it was very strange not understanding a word! (My French is terrible) but I think I must just have a "chat to me" face because ladies and men would be chatting away to me with me nodding along .... without a clue.
Everyone started heading into the lake, was it the start? No a Warm up - (15min ) everyone was in the lake, wow it was so clear and warm! I defiantly didn't need a wet suit but I was in it now! All I new was women start to the left! (Last min tip from Mike)
The French voice over the tannoy became excited and I guessed it was the count down... fingers crossed I didn't get lost because i hadn't understood a word of the breifing I was off... what felt like a few min in I panicked I had gone wrong, there was only 2 people near me (I've never been that far up in a swim, training must be paying off) .... 2nd out the water a record for me... then on to the bike.
Thank goodness for our French friend Stephane spectating as he was able to translate the instructions as I left-transition.... (there was no one in front) and French signs aren't as clear to and English country girl
Doe-se-doe all through the first lap with another lady, making sure no drafting (I have never seen so many officials in my life (the boys even said they had 3 referees in the swim with them). In honesty I didn't have the legs to keep accelerating and easing off as we passed, i had very tired legs from my heavy training over the run up weeks/days.
Off the bike and on the run even getting an ooh-la-la For my dismount (they actually say this in France ????????
So I'll get my excuses in now... I've been carrying an Achilles injury, creaking following any run, Everytime I tried to upy run pace... ankle said No. I was pleased I didn't have to stop and walk due to discomfort so crossing the line was a relief and a wake up call I need to give this time to properly heel. Id lost track with where in the field I was with no idea where my final position would be! - the boys just said oh I don't think there were many girls before you
2 days later in true laid-back French style I was able to see my result on line, 4th lady... I was over the moon.
All in all a slightly novel way to spend a Sunday in the south of France! I'm not sure I learn much French but a cool enamelled tin mug, A sun tan later, a need to rest my Achilles I am a very happy girl
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